(Newport, RI) America’s top car collectors and more than a dozen auto racing celebrities are coming to Newport July 27 to 29, 2007 for the William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. Concours d’Elegance at the Newport Mansions. The event will honor modern racing legends Dan Gurney and Sir Stirling Moss with Lifetime Achievement Awards for their contributions to motor sports.
The three-day celebration of all things automotive will include legendary drivers, competition cars, and grand classics. The festivities will benefit The Preservation Society of Newport County, one of the nation’s largest private custodians of National Historic Landmarks, including The Breakers (1895), Marble House (1892) and Chateau-sur-Mer (1852), which will host the various Concours events.
The weekend is sponsored by Bentley, Breitling, Bentley Providence, Grenon’s of Newport, Maybach, Azimut Yachts, Kimberly Pucci, Supercar Life, ABC6, and Fireman’s Fund. The Honorary Chairman of the weekend is Debi Rahal.
Historic Cars on Display
More than 120 cars, from the Brass Era up to 1970, will be on display at the William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. Concours d’Elegance. An exhibition class of legendary competition cars will be displayed on the lawn of The Breakers. A highlight of that display will be one of the largest collections of Dan Gurney driven and/or built race cars ever assembled, including the 1967 Westlake Eagle, the only Formula One car ever built and driven to victory by an American.
Classic cars will be displayed and judged on the lawn of Chateau-sur-Mer. Among the notable entries are cars which have been award winners at some of America’s most prestigious Concours, including Pebble Beach and Amelia Island. Several automobiles built prior to World War I will be displayed, including racers and passenger cars from as early as 1907 and 1908. Clark Gable’s 1934 Packard, several rare Duesenbergs, and dozens of other unique vehicles will be on display. Marques currently represented in the Concours include Renault, Alco, Buick, Mercedes, Fiat, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Auburn, Ford, Aston Martin, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Delahaye, Cadillac, Allard, Hillegass, Jaguar, Allard, MG, Crosley, Daimler, Cunningham, Porsche, Ferrari, Siata, Chevrolet, Cooper, Osca, BMW, Austin Healey, Morgan, Shelby, Lamborghini, Lotus, and Maserati.
Legendary Drivers Featured
Dan Gurney and Sir Stirling Moss will each receive the first annual William K Vanderbilt, Jr. Awards for Lifetime Achievement at a Legends of Racing Dinner on Friday, July 27 at The Breakers. The awards celebrate “Willie K” Vanderbilt’s contributions to American motor sport as a World Land Speed Record holder, his 1904 creation of the Vanderbilt Cup, and his conferring the sanctioning authority for the trophy on AAA.
“Dan Gurney and Sir Stirling Moss are among the greatest racers of all time, and we are absolutely thrilled to have them join us for this premier event,” said Preservation Society CEO and Executive Director Trudy Coxe.
Also on hand for the weekend to help celebrate the achievements of Moss and Gurney will be some of their former teammates and competitors, including Richard Attwood, Skip Barber, Bob Bondurant, Nick Craw, Janet Guthrie, David Hobbs, David Piper, Johnny Rutherford, Peter Windsor, George Wintersteen and others.
Moss started 529 races, finished 389 and won 212, giving him the highest winning percentage for races started and races completed in modern racing history. He is a Le Mans and Mille Miglia winner, and is regarded as the champion of sportsmanship as well as competitiveness among his peers.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the historic Gurney Eagle win at Spa in Belgium as well as the 40th anniversary of his historic Ford GT victory at Le Mans. Gurney is the only U.S. citizen to win a Grand Prix in a car of his own construction. Over his 15 year racing career, he raced in 303 events in 20 countries with 25 different makes of cars. He won 48 races and finished on the podium an additional 41 times. Among his most important victories were 7 Formula One races (four Grand Prix World Championship events), 7 Indy Car races, and 5 NASCAR Winston Cup stock car races.
Volunteers are needed to assist with a variety of functions throughout the Concours weekend. Volunteers must commit to working at least one half-day shift during the weekend, and in return will receive free admission to the Concours. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Beverly Ware at Events@NewportMansions.org for further details.
Concours Schedule & Tickets
The Vanderbilt Concours weekend will begin on Friday, July 27 with a Tour d’Elegance starting at 10:30 a.m. at The Glen on East Main Road (Route 138) in Portsmouth. Up to 40 classic automobiles will travel the scenic roadways of Portsmouth, Middletown and Newport, on their way to the Concours exhibition grounds at Chateau-sur-Mer on Bellevue Avenue.
The Concours will be open to the public from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Judging will take place Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the awards ceremony scheduled for 2:30 p.m. General admission to the Concours exhibits is $25 for adults, $5 for children 6-17. That includes access to the grounds of both Chateau-sur-Mer and The Breakers, as well as a tour of Chateau-sur-Mer for one person on any single day. All-weekend access and Household admission tickets are also available.
The Legends of Racing Dinner will take place Friday night at The Breakers. Celebrity guests will offer special tributes to Moss and Gurney as they receive their Lifetime Achievement Awards. Seating for this extraordinary evening of racing reminiscences is limited, and tickets are $850 per person.
On Saturday night, up to 700 guests will gather for a black-tie Black and White Ball at Willie K’s childhood summer home, Marble House. The evening will include a silent auction of luxury gifts and exciting trips. Tickets for the Black and White Ball are $500 per person.
For more information and to purchase tickets for all of the Concours events, visit www.VanderbiltConcours.org, or call (401) 847-1000.
The proceeds of the weekend will benefit The Preservation Society of Newport County, a non-profit educational organization accredited by the American Association of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts. Its 11 historic properties